MY TOP 5…
5. Steve Nash
Don’t @ me https://t.co/abT5FeumYC
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) March 24, 2020
Young is only in his second NBA season, which means that the only players on his list that he’s played against have been James and Kevin Durant.
That greater familiarity may be behind Young’s decision to rank James above the legendary Michael Jordan, a move that likely would cause grumbling in the city of Chicago and with contemporaries of Jordan.
James also being ranked above the late Kobe Bryant may not have elicited outrage in Los Angeles prior to the start of 2020.
However, Bryant’s tragic death in January brought his iconic career into deeper focus, with some emotional tributes subsequently ranking him at the top.
The inclusion of Durant, like James, involves adding someone whose career is still in progress, though Durant has been absent this season because of an Achilles injury.
Finally, Steve Nash’s 18-year career came to an end in 2014, but it was during his second stint with the Phoenix Suns that he established himself as one of the greats of the game. He averaged over 10 assists per game during that stretch and led the NBA in that category five times.
Prior to the NBA’s suspension of play on March 11, Young was continuing to make an early case for his own spot on that list in the future.
In 60 games this season, Young was averaging 29.6 points, 9.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. A continuation of that production in the years ahead will help make his case for inclusion that much easier.